Wyndham History

From Tipperary to Werribee : the family of Michael Shanahan.


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From Tipperary to Werribee : the family of Michael Shanahan.


A brief history of the Michael Shanahan and his descendents,




Wyndham City Libraries





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From Tipperary to Werribee : the family of Michael Shanahan.

Michael Shanahan was born in the early part of the 19th Century at Ballinahow, a farming area near Borrisoleigh in County Tipperary, Ireland.

Michael married Catherine Maher in 1838. They had five children.  History tells us of a life in Ireland at that time. So, in 1852 Michael set sail from Liverpool aboard the Bourneuf for Australia.  A daughter Mary had predeceased them in Ireland.

Tragedy struck again when Michael’s wife Catherine and daughter Anne died at sea. Michael remarried in 1854 to Margaret Hackett.  Eleven children were born to Michael and Margaret.  In 1856, after travelling around Victoria maybe trying his luck at the goldfields, Michael Shanahan and family arrived at Mt Blackwood.  Leasing land at first and then buying 60 acres on the same road that became known as Shanahans Lane.

Over the years, many of Michael’s family farmed in and around the Greendale and Myrniong districts, and still do today.  In 1905, Edmond (Ned) Shanahan, the 7th child of Michael’s second marriage and Edmond’s wife Johanna (nee O’Connor), originally farming at Rousley, Ballan, came to Wattle Park, Tarneit.  There were four children, Michael, Margaret, Edmond and Thomas.  The trees that were planted on the flats of the farm were planted by J.P. Chirnside. The trees were called she-oaks, so the Shanahans named the farm Oakbank.  The farm soon became known as Oakbank, Shanahans Road, Tarneit.

The Shanahans were well known for the quality of their hay, and showing of Clydesdale stock in the early years of the Century. Their most successful Clydesdale mare at the Royal Melbourne Show was named Queen of the Roses.  Over the years there were many happy reunions with their cousins.

In 1948, the Shanahans sold the farm and moved into Werribee with their children, the next generation.  Margaret Shanahan had left the farm earlier after marrying Owen Ryan.  Another two generations have come along since all the Shanahans left the farm.

Michael and Johanna and their children are all buried at the Werribee Cemetery.  

Remembering Brian Joseph Shanahan 1.11.42 – 6.3.44


“From Tipperary to Werribee : the family of Michael Shanahan.,” Wyndham History, accessed May 25, 2022, https://wyndhamhistory.net.au/items/show/183.


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